First off, thanks for reading this story. Anyone who read my last story, this is way better. My friend and I have spent a long time working on this, so please rate and review. So here it goes...
Beyond the Sea’s Horizon
Chapter 1: Fated Inspiration
The jovial flames in the old brick fireplace popped and crackled as they wrapped around the logs. The windowpanes in the room were frosted over and shone a harsh whiteness into the area. Lily was sitting in the floor, leaning back on the sofa, with a green crocheted blanket over her legs. She was wearing jeans and socks under the blanket, and on it, she wore only an old t–shirt from a summer camp she had once attended. No noise was made in this room in the early afternoon, save that of the television and its commercial. Like those of a hunting hound, Lily’s eyes were fixed on the screen and her ears were keen and alert. It would be coming soon and she knew it.
The sound of the advertisement for a new soda pop faded out and the screen turned momentarily black. Here it comes, the girl thought. Suddenly, the screen was bright again with an announcer on it.
“Hello, everyone, and welcome to this year’s Saffron City Amateur Battle Competition. Some of the most ambitious trainers have gathered here today to show their stuff. There are three ranks of trainers participating, the newest in the green class, the intermediate in the orange class, and the most experienced in the blue class. The winners in each class will receive the Saffron Cup for his or her class and one of these lovable snorlax dolls. How exciting! But first, before we begin the competition, we have a treat for everyone. May I introduce Karen and Will of the Elite Four. They shall be this year’s contestants in the exhibition battle! Let’s waste no more time and start this thing!”
Lily leaned forward, bent her knees, and wrapped her arms around them in anticipation. She had always watched the Saffron Competition, but this year was different. Never did she prepare herself more than when her idol, Karen, took the stage. And now, she was in the exhibition battle. This would be an event to remember.
On the television screen, the camera zoomed in on the battleground. Karen and Will walked with an air of confidence to the center of the field, took each other’s right hand and bowed deeply. They smiled to each other, a sign that no matter the outcome, it was still a friendly competition. Both contestants walked back to their respective ends of the field.
The referee shouted, “This match shall be Karen of the Elite Four versus Will of the same. The battle will be two versus two Pokemon. Exhibition contestants, are you ready?” They nodded to the judge. “Let the battle begin!”
“Go, Houndoom!” Karen shouted, throwing a red and white sphere into the air. When it hit the floor of the arena, it burst open, releasing a stream of white energy from within. The energy formed a hound-like shape. It was a very slim creature with a long pointed tail. On its head were two menacing horns curved back toward the tail. The black animal pointed his nose to the sky and howled as the crowd roared their approval of Karen’s choice.
“Jynx, go!” Will replied to Karen's action, throwing his own ball into the arena. A human-like shape emerged from within it. It was more shaped like a woman. It had large hands and a flowing red dress that obscured its lower half from view. Its black face and large pink lips looked much less menacing than her opponents features, but looks can be deceiving.
“Houndoom, flamethrower!” A long stream of orange and red embers flowed from the jaws of the dog.
“Jynx, dodge it and use ice beam!” The humanoid sidestepped the embers, but the stream honed in on her and finally connected, knocking her onto her back. Jynx stood back up, then launched a light blue lightning bolt at her opponent. Houndoom jumped to avoid the beam, but was a little late getting off, and he ended up with his back two paws frozen to the ground.
“Houndoom, use flamethrower to thaw your foot!” The bone-clad creature blew a small stream of embers onto his ice-coated paws. The block of ice began to slowly melt away as houndoom’s foe began making her move.
“Jynx, lovely kiss!” Will shouted. She walked up to her preoccupied opponent and kissed him on the forehead. The canine seemed confused for a second, but forgot what it was about and slipped off to sleep.
“Jynx, ice punch!” Her hands began to glow a brilliant white as she started to relentlessly pummel the helpless dog at her feet, snowflakes erupting wherever her fists made contact.
Houndoom slowly opened his eyes, wincing as he did so.
“Houndoom, crunch.” He leapt up, surprising his assailant. The hound bared his fangs and bit at jynx. She grabbed her shoulder where houndoom had bit her.
"Houndoom, Now use sunny day!" Houndoom turned his head skyward and howled: the few clouds in the sky vanished and the sun’s rays grew brighter, making the stadium almost uncomfortably warm. The heat further weakened ??*jynx.
“Houndoom, use faint attack, then overheat!" Houndoom vanished on the spot. Jynx looked around, bewildered at where the dog had gone. Suddenly, he reappeared behind jynx and unleashed a fierce pillar of fire straight into her back. Jynx was blown forward into the wall ahead. She fell back, unable to battle ??*onward. Houndoom howled to the sky in victory.
Karen, wasting no time, called her next attack to houndoom.
“Houndoom, charge your solarbeam!"
?”Go, Slowbro!" shouted Will, “Use surf!” Out of his second pokeball, a large pink biped emerged. It was more of a heavy-set pokemon with a dopey sort of expression and a large grey mollusk on its tail.
Slowbro began focusing on using surf. All of the water in the air around the stadium began to condense due to its intense concentration. When a large mass of ??*water had accumulated, he released it in the form of a large wave at its adversary. As the wave was about to crash down upon him, Houndoom set loose the full wrath of the beam of solar energy at its opponent. The beam tore through the wave and exploded into Slowbro, knocking it back into the wall behind it. The pink pokemon slowly got up onto its feet and began gathering all of the water once more.
“Houndoom, use solarbeam again.”
“Slowbro, use hydro pump!” Slowbro disgorged another fusillade of water, but this time, with much more force than the last. The blast of water hit houndoom directly in the side, knocking it over, and out.
Karen quickly retaliated by calling out her last pokemon.
“Let’s finish this, Vileplume!” she yelled, throwing another pokeball into the arena. From within it came a pokemon that looked eerily similar to a flower. The stem, as you could call it, was a deep purple, while the petals were a pinkish crimson.
“Slowbro, use ice beam!” The shell-plagued pokemon launched lightning-like bolts of ice at the awaiting flower.
“Vileplume, ingrain!” Karen shouted to it. The beam struck vileplume, freezing its lower half, preventing the ice-covered feet from planting the roots in the ground.
“Now it’s time for leech seed.” The frost-glazed flower spat out a seed that hit the surprised biped in the stomach, sticking fast and wrapping ravenous leaves around its body. The parasitic growths began to sap the health of its helpless host.
“Slowbro, ice punch!” The beleaguered pokemon lumbered over to his immobile opponent and began to punch it with vine-laden fists.
“Use toxic.” The now tired plant spit out a blob of sticky poison that adhered itself onto her attacker.
“Now for giga drain!” More seeds were expelled, burrowing into the skin of Slowbro, absorbing all remaining health. Slowbro keeled over, unable to keep up with all the damage it had recently borne. It was returned to the tranquil pokeball once more.
“Good job, Karen,” Will solemnly congratulated.
“You, too,” she replied.
The announcer chimed in. “Let’s thank Karen for an excellent job, everyone! And let’s thank them both for an exciting battle!” The audience exploded with whistles and applause.
Lily was still caught in a state of trance-like admiration. Her blanked had slipped off her legs and it wasn’t until the show was cut to a commercial that she became alert and noticed her feet were exposed to the frigid air. She hugged the covers over her once more.
“I knew she would win this. Most of the time she had the advantage and used it wisely. And then, when she didn’t, she found a way around it like solarbeam against slowbro. That was just amazing.”
“You think so?” Mom appeared from the kitchen. Her words were muffled through the chewing of a sandwich she had in her hand. “I don’t find it that interesting myself, but whatever you like.”
“Mom! Don’t eavesdrop on me. I know I talk to myself but still…” Lily said with a slight hint of harshness.
“What? I'm just interested. Can’t a mother be interested in her child’s life anymore? I can see I’m just not wanted.” She turned to walk back into the kitchen.
“Mom! I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”
“I'm just kidding!” Mom turned around, smiling with full chipmunk-like cheeks.
“You’re just awful,” Lily said kindheartedly.
"Thanks.” Mom left the room.
Lily stood up and sat on the couch. The old cushions squeaked in suffocation under her weight. And as she sank, she began to think, just this time not vocalizing it. Everybody must start somewhere near the mountain to greatness. But with the right tools, some ambition, and a goal, most anyone can make it to the top. Karen herself could not have started training much younger than I am now, maybe even older. I can still do what I want with my life. I’m not too young and it’s not too late. There’s only one thing stopping me.
As Lily thought these things, a tingling anticipation grew in her stomach. With every moment she contemplated this new idea, she noticed just how in her reach it might be. The point came where anxiety overtook wishful thinking and action trumped daydreaming. Lily dropped off the sofa and practically sprinted to her mother’s room.
“Mom?” Lily asked as she reached the doorway.
“Yeah? Need something?” Mom said, placing the bookmark in her book and setting it down.
Lily hesitated. “Can I borrow Candela?” she asked shyly.
“Lanturn? Sure, just make sure she doesn’t get hurt or if she does, stop at the pokecenter on your way home.”
“Not a problem. Unless, of course, your father finds out. You know how he doesn’t approve of you playing with pokemon.”
“He won’t, unless you tell him.”
“Okay.” Mom lifted up her shirt, revealing a belt with a metal clasp. The clasp had six circular slots, each containing a small red and white sphere. Mom removed the first one and handed it to Lily. “Have a good time.”
Lily carefully pocketed the ball as she walked out the door. She went to get her coat and earmuffs which hung in the front closet. After putting them on, she grabbed her purse and was out the door faster than an electrode could use flash.
The grass outside was glazed with a light coating of the powdered sugar that had fallen from the sky. Looking to her left, Lily could see the Olivine beach with an odd combination of sand and snow upon it. Large brown and black boulders jutted up out of the sand in random places across the sand bar. It was curious to wonder how they got there. Cottages dotted the coast, and at the far left end, the lighthouse was visible, standing like a sentinel over the sea with its ever shining light cast upon the winter gloom.
Lily’s house was in the town, near the border between it and the beach. The town was a peaceful and quiet one, where you could pretty much always hear the lapping of the waves on the shore. There were numerous houses in the town, but most were inhabited by couples or very small families. The pokecenter was the largest structure in the town (save the lighthouse, of course) and was always a friendly and comforting place. Closest to Lily’s residence was the pokemart, where she was headed now.
She arrived there after a short walk along the town’s main road. The large glass doors opened automatically, allowing free passage to within. Lily removed her earmuffs, revealing scarlet ears, as she stepped through.
None of the items in the store had seemed of much interest to her before today, but now they all seemed to hold endless possibilities. Mom had purchased some Liteblue Mail to write a letter on, but other than that, Lily had never seen anything that could be purchased there. Most items inside were for trainer or coordinators, these items being the ones Lily did not pay attention to before, but since her mindset changed from the enlightenment after watching Karen’s battle, they seemed exciting. Most of the items Lily saw were too expensive or not of use to her yet. She looked around for a while until she found exactly what she was looking for, the pokeballs.
Lily walked over to the racks which held the many pokeballs, perfectly lined up in neat, tidy rows. There were no gaps in the lines because the shopkeepers made sure to fill each hole as soon as that ball had been taken. For so many identical spheres, Lily spent a great amount of time deciding which one she should buy. Eventually, she picked one that seemed to be “lucky” in a sense, and brought it up to the counter.
“Hello! How may I help you?” asked the cheerful man behind the counter.
“Just this,” Lily said, gingerly placing the pokeball in front of the man.
“That’ll be Ą200.”
Lily took her purse off her shoulder, unzipped it, and almost emptied it in finding the payment for the ball. Her dad paid her an allowance of Ą5 a week in one bill, so the cashier gave a surprised look when she took out forty of them.
The man took the money and printed off a receipt. “Thank you.”
Lily pressed the button on the front of her new pokeball and put it in her pocket then she noticed she had everything she needed but one thing. In her rush, she had forgotten the main tool for her purpose. She started laughing at the sheer stupidity and personal embarrassment. Her mind was now sidetracked off of her thriving ambition and she walked home more leisurely.
As she entered the squeaky door, she heard her mom calling. “Are you done already? That was short.”
“No, I just need something.” Lily replied calmly.
“Okay, dear. Just checking.” Lily was glad Mom didn’t ask what she planned on retrieving from the house. Not that Mom would stop her from taking it, but just that if Mom was ignorant and unknowing, there was no risk of objection.
Lily made her way to the front closet, opened the door, and swiftly sifted through some of the coats.
“Ah, here it is. I can’t believe I forgot it when I got my coat,” Lily soliloquized, reaching for the fishing rod in the depths of the closet. Once she took it out of the dark room, the incandescent overhead light shone fully on it. The pole was thin and limber, but nevertheless sturdy and trustworthy. From it, the near-invisible line hung down into its container, which had a sheen of glossy blue. The crank-like handle was made of metal and the adult sized handle was made of rubber. The whole family used this rod and it was none other than the rod that had captured Candela as a young chinchou. Memory made its marks thickly across this pole in the forms of cuts and occasional scratches from heavy use. Lily took off with it down to the beach.
Her footprints sunk into the wet sand and left a clear trail of her route. The print trail led all the way to one of the docks that extended like an insect leg from the shore where she now stood. Her steps echoed on the time- and water-worn planks as she approached the end of the obtrusive dock.
Lily held the held the family rod in front of her. The same feeling of hope for luck as when she was in the pokemart browsing the pokeballs came over her now. Lily meditated over the grooves and small scratches in the pole and wished it and herself the best of luck. She opened her eyes.
With a powerful and energetic thrust of her arm, she cast the lure far into the mysterious sea water, which was full of so many mysteries.
“I can do this. I’ve done this before, just this time, I can’t throw my catch back. I know I can do this. She gripped the handle of the pole with anxious hands and braced herself for what might happen.
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Lily’s excitement had floated elsewhere. She was shivering and her fingers had started to ache with a tingling precursor with what she feared to be frostbite. It wasn’t anything but cold hands, but for someone who had never felt the affliction, it did feel like frostbite. Despite that, Lily’s fear for her own health, she stood tenacious and unmoving like a castle guard, waiting for that one little bite. When it came, the rod was almost pulled from her reflex-deadened hands, even though it was simply a mere nibble. Lily turned the handle steadily, so the fish would bite back, but not so hard that the lure would be pulled from its mouth. Indeed the naďve, lure-drawn creature did pull back with all its might, but not enough to overpower Lily’s goal-driven hands. The end of the line came closer and closer and with one final jerk of Lily’s arms, the catch leaped out of the sapphire waters.
Lily caught a glimpse of the gigantic creature before it dove back under. It was a large, ray-like creature she had never seen before. It didn’t matter to her what it was, though, just so it was hers.
“C’mon, Candela, let’s get this thing!” she yelled, tossing Candela’s pokeball onto the dock. The lanturn burst out in a brilliant white flash and dove into the sea.
“Shock wave, Candela!” The lanturn created a sphere of electricity in front of the bulb on its head and fired a thin streak of it at the manta ray. The beam honed in on Candela’s opponent, hitting and knocking it toward the bottom of the bay. It retaliated by striking Lily’s pokemon with its wing-like fins.
“Candela, thunderbolt!” Candela began charging a much larger amount of electricity at the antenna-like appendage on its head and launched it at the ray when it was fully charged. The charge struck the manta ray in the stomach, launching it out of the water and onto the shore.
“Candela, finish it with spark!” The lanturn coated itself with an electric charge, crackling and sparkling with energy, and rammed itself at its helpless foe. As Candela was about to lay the final blow, the creature fired a forceful stream of light blue bubbles at its attacker, forcing it back into the water as the ray began pulling itself back towards the bay.
“Candela, spark again!” It began charging itself again and charged at its foe, this time hitting and effectively knocking the kite-like creature out.
“Go pokeball!” Lily shouted throwing her “lucky” ball at it. The ball opened when it hit the unconscious pokemon, turning it into red energy, drawing it into the sphere. The orb shook once, twice, three times, and then seemed to calm down.
“Yes!” Lily exclaimed, punching the air. She ran over and picked up the pokeball.
“Way to go, Candela!” she said, hugging the tired lanturn. “Let’s go get you all healed up and find out what the heck I just caught.”
Giddy excitement melted into joyful relief as Lily headed to the pokecenter. An air of disbelief clouded her head a little, and the long walk across town wasn’t even remembered when she arrived at her destination. The pokecenter glowed with a warm light from inside and when she opened the double doors, a rush of heat flowed out.
The nurse behind the counter in front of her smiled as she walked in. “What can I do for you today?” she asked cordially.
“My pokemon need to be healed.” The word “my” tasted sugary in her mouth.
“Could I borrow their pokeballs?”
“Of course.” Lily handed them over with slight reluctance.
“Thank you.” The nurse brought them over to a large aquarium and released Candela and the manta ray. A look of relaxation and pleasure grew on the expressions of the pokemon. “My, that’s a beautiful mantine you have there.”
“Is that what it’s called?”
“Wouldn’t you know?”
“I just caught it. I’d never seen one before.”
“I see. For someone inexperienced, it is quite a lucky catch.”
“Oh, it looks like your pokemon are all healed. They weren't in very bad shape, just a little rest made them right as rain. Take care.” The nurse put lanturn and mantine back into their respective pokeballs and handed them gently to Lily.
“Have a nice day,” said Lily, smiling. She walked away across the yellow-tile floor, her heart beating with amazement and her eyes shining with glittering rapture.
“Do you want to watch the contests?” Jasmine asked.
“No, not really,” replied her bored son.
“I wish you would, Collin. They're quite amazing and even better in person. I’d take you to the one in town but there isn’t one today. “
“Okay.” He figured mild boredom would beat his current severe boredom any day.
“Oh wait! I have something for you.” Jasmine went into another room and brought back something in a white cloth. She handed it gingerly to Collin. As he took in his hands, the cloth slid off, revealing a yellow, almost spherical object. Most of it was a lemon yellow, but there were soft splotches of turquoise sporadically placed upon it.
“Is this a pokemon egg?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Oh, they had a surplus of them at the lighthouse nursery. Apparently, someone put too many males in the female pen down by one of the houses. The nursery takes all of the extra eggs, and since the nursery gives them away for free, I thought you might like one.”
“Thanks. What kind is it?”
“Oh, you’ll have to find out. That’s part of the suspense. Oh, the contest is about to start! Turn on the TV!”
Collin flipped on the little white television in their living room. He sat back in an armchair and cradled the egg in his lap. He rubbed it carefully with his hands to keep it warm.
“Hey!” the television announcer shouted, “It’s time for Contest Camera! Today, we’ll go to the Ecruteak contest and watch all the action up close. All of our contestants are of varying skill levels but let’s see how well they can perform. Let’s watch our contestants on stage.”
Collin watched the preliminary announcements with indifference along with the reading of the competitor’s names. It was not until the screen lit up with a hot orange red that Collin’s interest ignited like a spark in gasoline.
“Quilava, flame wheel!” one of the contestants shouted to his pokemon. A porcupine like creature with flaming quills breathed out a ring of fire that floated in the air.
“Again!” the trainer shouted. The creature blew several more identical circles into the air in front of the one already made, forming a neat orderly line several feet off the ground. With a mighty leap, the quilava went through the first ring, landing in a somersault, then leaping again, went through two rings, then three, finally finishing with a flamethrower through all six, each bursting into a puff of smoke. The crowd, and the announcer exploded with excitement as the trainer and his quilava took a bow.
“Amazing!” yelled the announcer, “If that wasn’t awesome, I don’t know what is!”
Collin was stunned. He was frozen in sheer amazement. He clutched the egg firmly. The television cut to a commercial.
He gingerly set down the egg in its blanket and went into the kitchen. He took an apple from the refrigerator and sat at the table. Thoughts of the adroit quilava swirled around in his mind. He was so absorbed in it, the motions of eating the apple seemed involuntary, for he gave them no thought. The skill of that creature and how someone had been able to teach it that. It was hard to even believe.
Jasmine’s entrance to the room broke his concentration. “So, are you bored already?”
“No, that was amazing!” he said earnestly.
“That’s good to hear. Where was the contest?”
Collin had drifted away in his daydreaming. It took him a moment to realize his mom had asked him a question, and another to remember what it was. “I think it was Ecruteak.”
“Oh, that’s pretty close. It’s the closest city to us. Who was competing?”
“I’m not sure, but their pokemon was something called a quilava.”
“I’ve seen a few of those. In fact, quite a few have come to my gym and defeated me quite easily. Fire beats steel, but not always. In those cases the trainers were skillful and excellent. I was happy to give them each a mineral badge.” She smiled softly and stared away in peaceful reminiscence. Collin used the time to go back into the living room where the television was.
The TV announcer came on again and introduced a gligar to the stage. Collin was listening and watching intently when he heard a slight cracking sound come from somewhere.
“What was that?” He looked around and saw nothing and disregarded the noise.
It happened again, but a little louder. Then many more came in quick succession. The egg in Collin’s lap began to rustle. He couldn’t help but notice.
“Mom! Come in here. I have to show you something!” he said with evident suspense in his voice. Jasmine was quickly in the room.” The egg, it’s hatching!”
“Oh my gosh! It really is it must have been in the nursery for quite some time.”
Collin was too absorbed in the egg to listen. Little pieces of yellow and blue eggshell were chipping off. Then all at once, the whole top shattered and out popped a little blue head with yellow fur.
“Well isn’t that cute,” Jasmine said.
“I wonder what it is.”